WAXAHACHIE — For the third time in seven district games, Levi David and the Waxahachie Indian baseball team needed more than seven innings to decide a contest in which the senior started on the hill.
And, for the second time in those three District 10-5A games, the Indians came out on the short end. Mansfield Lake Ridge, which entered having lost two straight games, scored four runs in the top of the 10th inning to defeat Waxahachie 6-2 Tuesday at Richards Park.
Two errors bookended by a pair of singles plated the eventual game-winning and insurance runs for the Eagles in the 10th inning. The Indians committed five errors Tuesday, which Waxahachie head coach Tracy Wood pointed to being both uncharacteristic and unacceptable.
"I can't think of any losses that aren't bad losses. The errors cost us, there's no doubt that they were big and those errors ended up deciding the outcome,” Wood said. “We pride ourselves on throwing strikes and playing good defense, and if you keep throwing up zeros then you got a chance, but there's no doubt that those errors were a factor. Absolutely.
“[…] We are going to keep battling, and it's a process, and we just got to keep working. We are going to come back tomorrow and get back to work because that's what we are here to do. This district, it is not going away and I have been saying that from the start. This district is not going away and we are going to have to battle every day. That was a good baseball team over there. I mean them suckers can beat anybody in the district, for sure. And I was really impressed with their pitcher, he was pretty good."
The first seven innings of baseball saw just two runs scored, as the two staff aces —David (3-0, 0.76 ERA) and Lake Ridge righty Brandon Uhse — kept the bats in check.
Tuesday marked the third straight no-decision for David, who has not recorded a decision since March 9 against Robinson despite allowing just three earned runs over his three starts and 18.2 innings in district play. He has gone seven full innings in each of his last two starts with 17 strikeouts and one earned run in that span.
In the other dugout, Uhse pieced together one of the more peculiar, yet impressive, games witnessed by the Indians all season. The right-handed fireballer finished with nine strikeouts and allowed just four hits over his nine innings of work. He finished with 109 pitches — one shy of the newly implemented 110-pitch limit set by the UIL.
The outing did not appear dominant, however, as Wood pointed out his ballclub made solid contact and thought that several of the 13 fly ball outs were “loud.”
Not every hot shot was caught, though. Left fielder Joey Trevino finished 3-for-4 at the plate with a double that scored Trevin Robinson in the bottom of the fifth inning for a 1-0 Waxahachie lead. Robinson, who finished 1-for-3, reached base after he worked a seven-pitch walk.
"That was a little bit of a breakout game for Joey. We kind of shook our lineup up a little bit to try to get some guys going, like Trevin, Joey, and [Alec] Sanchez,” Wood said. “There are a couple key guys in there who we moved down to try to get them some more fastballs, and I think it helped Joey because he had a good night and even Trevin hit the ball well. He just hit the ball hard right at some people. Peyton [Graham] is also one who continues to swing the bat well. I thought we swung the bat pretty well and we had some loud outs.”
The double by Trevino nearly plated a second Indian run, but Alex Castillo was called out by the home plate umpire on a play at the plate — which prompted quite a few vocal objections from at least one shade of green apparel.
After the game, Wood acknowledged the play but explained, “It's baseball, and sometimes we are going to get one and have one taken away, but I'm not going to let anybody talk about that play at the plate, I can promise you that. We aren't going to listen to that. We have got to keep working. You can't make five errors and win baseball games. You just can't do it.”
"This district is going to beat up on each other, and nobody is going to get through unscathed, for sure,” Wood added. “You got Midlothian over there with two wins and has one of the best arms in the state of Texas. It's tough, and I promise you Summit will come over here on Friday with nothing to lose and they will be ready to play. But we will be ready to play, too."
The loss was the first in eight games at Jungle Park this season for the Tribe. It also knocked (16-5) Waxahachie out of a tie for first place in the District 10-5A standings and into a tie with Mansfield Legacy for the second seed.
After missing the postseason last season, it is the (17-3-2, 6-1, Red Oak Hawks who sit perched atop the standings as the eight-team district flips the slate over to the second half.
The Indians entered the game as the No.10-ranked team in the Txhighschoolbaseball.com 5A poll and received top-10 votes in the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association state poll. The only other team from District 10-5A ranked in either poll is the No. 25 Red Oak Hawks, who moved into sole possession of first place in the district standings with a 5-4 win on Tuesday over Mansfield Legacy.
Waxahachie will look to sweep the regular-season series against Mansfield Summit when head coach and former Indian assistant, Chris Peacock, brings his Jaguars to Richards Park for a 7 p.m. first pitch.
Travis M. Smith, @Travis5mith